About General Liability Insurance
All businesses, regardless of industry, face risks that should be covered by insurance. The most common and comprehensive type of policy business owners invest in is general liability insurance (or CGL).
Some of the risks CGL insurance covers are:
- Bodily injury
- Property damage
- Medical payments
- Legal defense and judgment
- Personal and advertising injury
While businesses aren't legally required to carry general liability insurance, operating without it is extremely risky. If your business is sued, you could end up facing fees totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more). Having a sufficient CGL policy in place to help compensate for these damages is the only way to prevent this type of event from devastating your business.
Learn more about the risks covered by general liability insurance.
COMMON SITUATIONS THAT GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE WOULD COVER FOR A GOAT YOGA STUDIO
Example 1: A customer sustains a back injury while performing a yoga pose during class. General liability insurance may cover their medical expenses, even if they've signed a waiver beforehand.
Example 2: A goat steps on a herniated disc during class and the resulting injury requires major medical surgery. General liability insurance will likely help a business owner settle a lawsuit or negotiate a settlement with the customer.
Example 3: A goat panics due to the number of people in the class and becomes uncontrollable. The goat not only hurts several customers but also damages some of the equipment that customers brought from home. General liability insurance covers the cost of medical treatment and damaged property.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of perils a general liability insurance policy will cover, and some conditions may result in a particular peril not being covered. It's always best to talk to your agent in-depth about the specifics of your policy to avoid blind spots in coverage.
Cost of General Liability Insurance
On average, goat yoga studios in America spend between $300 - $700 per year for $1 million in general liability coverage.
Check out the chart below for a snapshot of average CGL expenditure across a variety of industries:
Several factors will determine the price of your policy. These include your:
- Number of employees
- Per-occurrence limit
- General aggregate limit
You may be able to acquire general liability insurance at a discounted rate by purchasing it as part of a business owner's policy (BOP) rather than as a standalone policy. A BOP is a more comprehensive solution that includes multiple forms of coverage, such as business interruption and property insurance.
Other Types of Coverage goat yoga studios Need
While general liability is the most important type of insurance to have, there are several other forms of coverage you should be aware of. Below are some other types of insurance all goat yoga studios should obtain.
Commercial Property Insurance
Whether you use a tent, barn, or commercial space, you'll need to protect the facility from potential accidents. Because all animals can be unpredictable, commercial property insurance allows you to replace your equipment or repair your facility in the case of an unexpected event.
Business Interruption Insurance
This form of insurance covers a goat yoga business if it needs to close for several months. This may occur if your property needs major repairs after a storm or other natural disaster. During this time, business insurance will supplement the average income you would be making if you were still open for business.
Workers' Compensation Insurance
If you have yoga instructors to help teach the classes, you'll need workers' compensation insurance to cover potential accidents or injuries that occur while they are on the clock. Employees may hurt themselves not only when they're performing complicated poses, but also when they're cleaning up or handling the goats.
Types of Coverage Some goat yoga studios May Need
In addition to the policies outlined above, there are a few other types of coverage your goat yoga studio may require depending on certain aspects of your operations. Some of these might not apply to you, so be sure to ask your agent which policies are right for your business.
Commercial Umbrella Liability Insurance
Commercial umbrella insurance extends the limits of your general liability insurance policy. For example, if your coverage is capped at $100,000, you can use umbrella insurance to receive a higher coverage limit. This insurance comes highly recommended to goat yoga owners. It’s difficult to find insurance companies to take on animal-based businesses simply due to their unpredictability. Umbrella insurance can give you peace of mind no matter what happens.
Commercial Auto Insurance
If you use a commercial automobile to transport your goats to and from your facility, or even just to take them for medical services, commercial auto insurance will protect your vehicle in case of damage from the goats. It will also cover you for accidents on the road when using your automobile for business purposes.
If you use your home or barn to conduct your classes, this insurance will give you additional coverage on the space you use to house, feed, and work with the goats.
Additional Steps to Protect Your Business
Although it's easy (and essential) to invest in business insurance, it should not be your frontline defense. Yes, insurance will compensate for your business' financial losses after an incident occurs, but it's much better to avoid losses altogether.
With this in mind, here are three things you can do to better protect your business:
- Use legally robust contracts and other business documents. (We offer free templates for some of the most common legal forms.)
- Set up a limited liability company (LLC) to protect your personal assets. (Refer to our guide for step-by-step instructions on how to form an LLC in your state.)
- Streamline your business' internal processes. This will remove unnecessary variables from common tasks and create a safe, consistent environment for conducting business.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is included in a business owner’s policy?
A typical business owner's policy includes general liability, business interruption, and property insurance. However, BOPs are often customizable, so your agent may recommend adding professional liability, commercial auto, or other types of coverage to your package depending on your company's needs.
What is the difference between business insurance and general liability insurance?
"Business insurance" is a generic term used to describe many different types of coverage a business may need. General liability insurance, on the other hand, is a specific type of coverage that business owners need to protect their assets.
Do I need insurance before I start a business?
You should invest in coverage for your business before your first interaction with a customer. Although the cost of insurance may seem high for a brand new business, it's best to be proactive when it comes to protecting your assets. After all, you can't buy insurance to cover a loss that has already occurred.
Will insurance protect my business from everything?
Not necessarily. Certain exceptions may be written directly into your policy, and some perils may be entirely uninsurable. Be sure to discuss the scope of your policy in-depth with your agent to avoid being blindsided by holes in your coverage.